Let's dive in, shall we, because there's huge talk around self-love and with the onslaught of marketing campaigns telling us exactly what it should mean, there's less clarity for us to actually figure out what it is and how to get more of it.
Much to Boot's and our dismay, self love doesn't come in a tube. Doh. Wouldn't that be simple if it did. But like any form of love, self love is a practise, it's a way of learning and being that allows you to be, well, human, not perfect. That's kinda cute.
In truth, self love is about finding ways to enjoy and create from those parts of yourself you don't quite feel so lovely toward, just yet. It's an action of moving toward yourself when you want to run and hide. It's a way of life, not a one time thing.
Here I've collected 3 expressions of self love that have become mainstays in my practise, and perhaps they may inspire you too:
1. Thought Life
More than money spent, our biggest expression of self love is cultivating kindness and love inside our heads. Maybe you torture yourself over what you did wrong or agonise over fears of something that hasn't even happened yet? These are all ways we can slip on the self love thought front. Taking care of your mental space is paramount, using a balance of love, compassion and focused discipline to edge us away from unkind thoughts into an empowered mindset. Ask yourself questions like; how can I help myself today? Am I enjoying these thoughts? Do these thoughts reflect the best parts of who I am? That face mask and bubble bath won't do jack if your head's allowed free rein on whatever it wants. If you wouldn't say it to a child, don't say it to yourself.
2. Romance Yourself
Set the tone for love. Think romance just comes from someone else? Nope, love starts with the standards you set, including the soothing and pleasing aesthetics of beauty in action. Be your own creator of these beautiful moments. Each week I buy myself flowers, light candles daily, get regular manicures and pedicures and even add rose petals, herbs and scents to my bath water. Yes, really. I do this because it feels GOOD, it's gorgeous to create those spaces and moments for myself. Besides, I hold a hard and fast rule; never expect of someone else what you aren't willing to do for yourself - you won't settle for less afterward either. Self-romance not only allows you to spoil your senses, but sets the standard for a partner (potential or present) of how you deserve and desire love, It's not about money spent, but moments you create.
3. Make it Non-Negotiable
Okay, let's go: Self love is non-negotiable. Self-love is crucial in our experience of a joyful life. Your one body, mind, heart and soul deserve your own lavish attention and with good reason. Making a commitment to yourself that this will be your priority is paramount to your growth and progress, and yet it's one you may stumble on. Committing to self-love does not mean you always get it right, it doesn't mean you you don't lapse or forget, but it does mean it becomes your priority. This can mean making choices that seem harder, spending money more wisely and having the compassion for yourself to redirect your attention. Self-Love is a way of life and learning, not a tick box exercise. Choosing and returning to self-love is an expression of self-love.
Apply these as and when you wish, you're on your own journey and simply replicating what you think you "should" do rather than feeling into your own ideas can sometimes stunt the process of listening to what you need for your next step. Give these a go, if you like, and see how they feel. I know they feel good for me, and perhaps they will for you too.